March 2012 ~ My IdeaLife

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967 - 2014

An awe-inspiringly gifted man, lost to himself, to us and to his loved ones...Read more...

What is happiness?

Money, fame, success, being ultra cool? Brene Brown's answer is what your humanity will recognise as true...Read more...

Ten Movies that make me PML!

If you don’t know who Maude is nor what an existential detective can do for you, then this list is for you. I hope you also p1ss your p@nts laughing...Read more...

All I want for Christmas is... the cheesy shite that brings us together! x

Once a Christmas fire engine rolled past our holiday house running carols over its very loud PA system complete with Santa on board throwing lollies...Read more...

The Bachelor restored my faith in humanity...no really

I have made no secret that from the second I saw Ali twinkle her eyes in the light reflecting off Tim's shiny hair ...Read more...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Here's to the crazy ones that change the world: Digital Parents Conference 2012



"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels the troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo.You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, about the only thing you can't do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones we see genius because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."


Today I spoke on a panel at the Digital Parents Conference in Melbourne on working with brands. I started the session with this ad from Apple in 1997 because it is so inspirational and it still rings true today. The only thing that is a little different is that genius is no longer only found in the ranks of famous people.

It is found in the true story of someone's life, the humour that keeps someone else going, the drive another has for a good cause and the courage they all have to share part of themselves on their blog. Social media is a revolution, it gives nobodies a voice and it moves influence back to many rather than few.

That passion and influence is worth more than a bottle of moisturiser, and I hope from today we will realise that when we choose to collaborate with brands that we love and are passionate about, we'll remember that.

 I dedicate this to any one with an internet connection. You can change the world and if you are not certain well you can be certain that some of you have already changed at least one life today.


I have listed the twitter handles of those who moved me today below, please add your gamechangers too!



Andrea @FoxinFlats
 Clint @ReservoirDad
Nathalie @EasyPeasyKids
Lisa @sawhole
Darren @problogger

and of course Maria @mums_word Trae @glowless Kirrily @shortn_tweet and Brenda @mummytime who made it all happen!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Home is where the hate is...The Slap strikes again.

The Slap even has the NY Times' vote, so it's any wonder that I wrote two articles on it, Aisha's episode airs tonight in the US, here was my take as published on The Punch back in November last year. 
The thousands of words on Twitter reflected my own emotions as I watched ABC TV’s The Slap last week. One tweet said: “it’s totally brutal!”, another: “searing, uncomfortable melancholy” and one more: “did anyone else’s heart sink tonight watching The Slap?”
Fierce, frighteningFierce, frightening
Mine certainly did and I was not the only one. It was a bit close to the bone for many, as it shone an unceremonious light on characters’ Aisha and Hector’s 16-year marriage.
As I watched Aisha fake anger and hurt at Hector’s admission of his minor infidelity, all the while withholding her own more major dalliance, an image of marriage popped into my head: Marriage is a bonfire stack piling higher and higher with hurts, waiting for a spark to ignite an explosion of desire or destruction.
Unfortunately popular culture would have us believe every argument ends in make-up sex but the reality is closer to Aisha’s lack of emotion.
The pain we cause each other over years seems to numb us and more often than not. Nothing ends in nothing, with one in three marriages unfortunately ending in divorce rather than unquenchable desire.
Having been married for eight years, this statistic doesn’t surprise me. It is amazing that it isn’t higher given how cruel we can be to the one person we are meant to love the most.
We seem to save our empathy and kindness for the stranger we strike up an impromptu conversation with or the little old lady that needs a hand up the stairs. Our partners, however, get full-blown resentment, rudeness, neglect and disdain.
These emotions are often balanced with intimacy, trust and loyalty but why, when things are going wrong, do we turn on the person we thought we could not live without?
It’s probably because marriage is tough. And it’s even harder when children come along.
The cute little blighters turn hairline cracks quickly into structural damage.
But they’re not fully to blame and often just accentuate underlying disappointment, which is the real culprit.
It’s any wonder we are set up to fail when the start of a marriage mimics a red carpet event. The wedding is such a pivotal event in our society, you and your spouse never looked better, you have this huge party with friends and family and then you go on holidays somewhere beautiful for at least two weeks.
This fun series of events never happens again as you settle in to living with someone who has a unique type of annoyingness designed to drive you slowly insane.
You hit the treadmill of working towards a home and a family, money issues come up, time together is minimised by work, looking after kids or rare, but sanity-saving time to yourself.
Next thing you know you are old and living with someone who is your co-parenting housemate and that’s about it.
For me and I think a lot of women, the disappointment is based on my expectation that I would have a deep connection with this person as soon as we said ‘I do’.
I obviously had no clue about blokes, where often the only thing that is deep is their inbuilt ability to hide their emotions.
Everyone’s challenge is slightly different but our own unique disappointment ends up looking a lot like Aisha’s face every time she looks at Hector.
Her bonfire of pain is so large she buries it so as not to feel hurt every second of the day. She blames Hector for it and punishes him so she’s not the only one feeling so bloody awful. It is dysfunctional, unkind and near the opposite of love.
But it is human nature to avoid responsibility for your own unhappiness. It is so much easier to blame your partner for trapping you into a life you didn’t expect than facing your own inner flaws and personal failings that got you there.
And looking for a solution in another human that looks as sparkly with potential as your partner once did, well that’s even easier.
As I watched Aisha consider leaving Hector, I thought of my own marriage and imagined if it was over. My heart broke at the thought.
I wouldn’t remember that my husband didn’t hear human voices if sport was on, or that he made the bathroom look like a great dane had just shaken himself off in there.
But I would desperately miss all the things I take for granted. His patience with the boys, his calmness when I feel like I will lose my mind, his pragmatism that balances my dreaminess. His shy blue eyes looking at us with love and wonder and his stoic confidence and ability to just get on with it when others would fall in a heap.
I’m no expert on happy marriages, but seeing the hate and numbness of Christos Tsiolkas’ characters made me realise where I didn’t want to end up.
So I’m off to slap my hubby - with a big fat kiss and if he’s lucky… with some much-earned kindness too. Okay, a bit of something else may be considered. Just don’t tell him, I’d hate to disappoint…
Nicole is a blogger at MyIdeaLife.com.au, a freelance writer, social media junkie and corporate marketer.


Monday, March 26, 2012

"Sometimes we wish for far away" man I love Powderfinger

This song was one of those songs I waited for when I listened to Powderfinger's album Odyssey Number Five, which I happened to listen to a lot in 2000 and 2001. I had just ended a 2 year de-facto relationship at 30 and my life was at a turning point. The understated agony in their music resonated with my own confused heart. 

I was reminded of my buried obsession one night driving home when someone with obviously impeccable music taste, I think on Triple M, played 'DEF', my second favourite song of theirs. And then by my mate Purple_Cath who was sharing her love of Powderfinger yesterday on Twitter. We lamented together their decision to disband.

Powderfinger farewelling the crowd at one of their final concerts... :(

So what better way to reignite my passion for men, such as these, that just reach in to my chest and grab my heart but than writing about it here. Enjoy, and I hope it brings back memories of late nights, dancing in muddy fields and stolen kisses. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Problem with Mortality: Jim Stynes gone at 45

On the day of Jim Stynes state funeral an edited version of this post was published in the Tele

"All those moments lost in time...like tears in rain...time to die"
BladeRunner 1982


I’m not in to watching sport, in fact when my husband turns it on, daily that is, I go kind of mental and loudly threaten a 24 hour Jane Austen marathon until he changes the channel. But tonight the not so random Fox Sports channel specifically selected to watch a dedication to AFL legend Jim Stynes sent me a different kind of crazy. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I took in the loss of an obviously great man with a rare mix of humility, drive and amazing character. My heart broke as I imagined his wife and children facing a future without what was obviously the backbone of their reality gone. And as I saw the helplessness we all share when the enemy of our time rears it’s ugly head, to cut short another young life at only 45, it was almost too much.

Last year Sarah Watt died of Cancer, a month before her, Steve Jobs, weeks before that Gavin Larkin, a few months before that my cousin, and the list goes on like a morbid game of Chinese Whispers that leaves only grief and sadness in its wake.

We are surrounded by death, a day does not go by in which we are not confronted by mortality. Whether it be a car accident, a suicide bomb or an illness, the TV beams it to us daily. Not surprising really, given over 150,000 people die each day. What is surprising though is how we manage to ignore it, mainly because it is not our own and for years and hopefully whole life times we carve a path through life without looking death squarely in the eye. We live as if immortal.

Even when my Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I managed to shelve the situation in the “she’ll be right” category of my brain and luckily she was. Today though my delusion is showing cracks and I don’t know whether it is maturity or just that the people threatened and dying now are peers, but my "eternal" existence is being challenged.

Jim, Steve and Sarah had children, so have I, they were happy, so am I, they were in their 40s, so am I, they were needed, so am I. There it is, the unfamiliar face of death taking someone my age, at my stage of life. It is despicable, wrong and absurd. But most of all it is insanely confronting.

It is an understatement to say I am not happy about this happening. The injustice of it is driving me quietly mad. I am sad and angry and desperate at this interruption to such brilliant existences. “It is NOT fair! this is not how it is meant to be” I scream as I try to return death back to its abstract box, miles away from me. But as I spin hopelessly in my new world without infinity, I realise I need a new way to look at this or I would be of no use to anybody.

Then I remembered what I had heard last year. When it became apparent that Steve Jobs was gravely ill, I watched his speech to Stanford graduates. It left me a blubbering mess then and compelled me to write about his life, but his words were like oxygen for those grieving his loss after he died and I so I share them again as we grieve again today for Jim Stynes:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…”
Steve Jobs, 2005

And when Jim Stynes was asked whether he thought what was happening to him was incredibly unjust he responded: 

“Life throws up challenges, life is unfair.
When you understand that, you can get on with your life”. 
Jim Stynes, 2010



He also admitted to being too busy to get a sizable lump on his back checked despite his wife urging him to go to the Doctor. Sound familiar? “Living” does gets in the way of life and if on the day we die we want to look back without regret, listening to those that have at last faced their own mortality is key. 

So maybe instead of seeing a seething monster when death reminds us it exists, we need to see a motivator with a light shining through our material and superficial trappings to our soul and heart. A filter that tears away the unimportant and uncovers what it is we want from our very finite life. 

Unfortunately these inspirational and wise words can’t reduce the intense pain of losing someone we love or the thought of our own self ceasing. But maybe if we accepted that one day our spirit will end with one final synapse firing in our brain. Maybe then and only then would we truly learn how to live, grateful for the things that matter, and looking for ways to find inner happiness and share it with those we love.

When life gets in the way and I forget what really matters I am going to stop and remember the great ones that don’t have the chances I have, to cherish their gorgeous family and friends and to stop sometimes and just be.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam Jim Stynes

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is everyone's hubby a pørnstar?

Recently a very intelligent man was on TV, I stopped faffing about on Twitter to listen as he was asked, “Do kids ruin marriage?” Without a second thought he responded “I can tell you for free, not having kids [myself], you can still not have sex” Hold the phones! I thought we were talking about marriage?
I’m glad Joe Hildebrand jumped automatically from happy marriage to frequency of sex because now I can stop calling my husband a pørnstar. He’s not a pørnstar, he’s just a normal bloke. Like many pnis-possessors, my husband interprets any word, phrase, action or movement as something to do with sx.
Consider an innocent hug, in the hands of a male it quickly turns into a crash tackle against the kitchen bench. A bend over to pick up a toy is a screaming invitation for a dry run. Getting changed into your PJs is really you saying “Want to play with these fun bags?” while he øgles unashamedly. And reaching for your drink at dinner is a blatant request to touch one of them.
And if your thought actions spoke louder than words try these phrases out on your special pørnstar, I mean man.
She says: Pass the sauce please
He hears: Blah blah you’re a saucy thing blah blah

She says: Can you put out the garbage?
He hears: Blah blah I put out blah blah

She says: Have you heard about that job?
He hears: Blah Blah blah bløw job blah blah

She says: Isn’t it hot today?
He hears: Blah blah you’re so hot blah blah blah

She says: Can you turn on the hose?
He hears: Blah blah I love getting w€t mmnnn blah blah

She says: You are so rude!
He hears: Blah blah get me nµde blah blah blah

As Billy Crystal once said “Women need a reason to have sx. Men just need a place.” Basically whatever you do, as it filters through the male brain it usually pops out as an invitation for sx. You could be swinging a cat at a funeral and you’d hit a bloke ready to shag you in the aisle in front of the coffin.
In the end Joe hit the nail on the head, so to speak, as kids don’t ruin marriage. The rating difference between males and females is actually to blame. Somewhere between his constant R-r@ting and her preferred G-rating falls the growing divorce statistics.
So girls, if you need a hug, want a conversation or have to bend over make sure you’re only in the presence of females. And blokes, another wise man – this time Steve Martin – once said “Don’t have s€x, man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you have to start talking to them.”
In conclusion there’s a reason most stallions are gelded.....ouch!

This initially appeared on JustB Australia as "Thinking with their little head" on October 5th, 2011